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Full System Restore of Windows 10 Client Computer -- Won't Reboot RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've been running a Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials machine to back up several client computers running Windows 10, and to provide remote access to the client computers. After the mid-November update of Windows 10, all of the client computers lost their connector software and their connection to the server. With two computers -- one joined to the server's domain and one running the Home version and thus just networked with the server -- I was able to reinstall the connector software and get things working.

    The third computer, which had been joined to the server's domain, refused to reconnect -- I get a consistent error message saying that the computer is already part of a different domain and must be disconnected from that domain before I can reconnect to the server. If anyone has suggestions for resolving that problem, that would be the best solution.

    Not wanting to wipe the computer and start over, I bought a new hard drive -- identical to the former C: drive -- and did a full system restore from the last backup to the server that was completed before the November hiccup. After six hours of restoration, the server reported that the full system restore had been successful. All I needed to do was click on "Finish" and the restored client computer would reboot.

    But the client computer will not boot up. I get an error message stating that the file "c:\windows\system32\winload.exe" is missing or contains errors. It's not missing. Can anyone tell me how to reboot the client computer and repair any files that may contain information specific to my former hard drive?

    Wednesday, December 23, 2015 12:24 AM

Answers

  • You still need to run the database repair tool and plug in the spare hard drive to do a test restore.

    If the backup database thinks it has a good copy of winload.exe it will not replace it when you run a new backup.  Going back in the restore calendar may not help either if it is pulling a bad copy.  Now if the file changed at some point, then you might could go back to a good time, but it may not be a good time for you :)

    Good job on the log files.  DNS is kinda of a known issue though.

    Happy New Year


    Grey

    Sunday, December 27, 2015 5:10 PM

All replies

  • Have you tried to run the restore again?

    As for reinstalling the connector, there are plenty of things that can go wrong.

    If the pc is in fact still part of the domain, drop it out to a workgroup, then reinstall the connector.


    Robert Pearman WSSMB MVP
    @titlerequired | LinkedIn | Google+
    Facebook | Windows Server Essentials.com

    Wednesday, December 23, 2015 3:53 PM
  • Thanks for the reply.

    Yes, I've run the restore twice. Both times the Wizard indicated success, but the client computer gave the same explanation for its inability to reboot -- missing or erroneous c:\windows\system32\winload.exe.

    I have tried removing the client computer from the domain and putting it into a workgroup. That works, but when I try to rejoin the domain, I get the same error message, i.e. that the computer is already connected to a different server and must be disconnected before I can connected to my Essentials server.

    I have considered deleting the client computer via the server dashboard, but don't want to give up several months' worth of daily backups, in case they contain files that were inadvertently deleted and haven't been missed yet.

    Naturally, the client computer was an online upgrade from Windows 7, so I have no installation media with which to attempt a repair. I have a Windows 10 product key, but I'm hoping not to have to do a complete reinstallation of Windows and all programs, settings, etc.


    Chuck Calvin

    Wednesday, December 23, 2015 10:09 PM
  • Think that join error is the domain suffix thing?  Don't know why it would be different though.  Remove the suffix as per the pic.

    In any case the restore should work.  For giggles, I think I would run the backup database repair tool.  Since it is just a spare hard drive for testing, you might also go farther back in the calendar


    Grey

    Friday, December 25, 2015 1:29 PM
  • On the restore side, how are you doing that?  With the PXE boot or making a thumb drive?  You are not making in changes in BIOS to run the restore?

    If your PC supports the network boot that is the best :)


    Grey

    Friday, December 25, 2015 1:35 PM
  • Thanks for the suggestions, Grey. I was booting the client computer from the network. I didn't think of using an earlier backup as the basis for the restore; if I get into this situation again, I will try to remember that possibility.

    When I couldn't get the restored drive to boot, I reinstalled the Windows 10 drive that had been working in standalone mode. Somewhere in TechNet I came across a report to the effect that when the server connector software is deleted during a Windows update, the related log files are not deleted and will cause confusion when you reinstall the connector. I deleted the log files and reinstalled the connector. That ended the error message stating that the computer was already connected to a different server, but the client computer was unable to find the Essentials server.

    That error message reminded me that I read somewhere else that it was sometimes necessary to assign the server's IP address as the DNS server address manually in network setup, though this is supposed to happen automatically during connector installation. I tried that and, voila, the client computer rejoined the domain and has gone through two successful backups, is available online, etc.

    I wish this stuff were documented in some coherent fashion, but volunteers in the forums come through time and again with great ideas, and if you just keep trying different ideas, one of them generally works.


    Chuck Calvin

    Saturday, December 26, 2015 5:01 AM
  • You still need to run the database repair tool and plug in the spare hard drive to do a test restore.

    If the backup database thinks it has a good copy of winload.exe it will not replace it when you run a new backup.  Going back in the restore calendar may not help either if it is pulling a bad copy.  Now if the file changed at some point, then you might could go back to a good time, but it may not be a good time for you :)

    Good job on the log files.  DNS is kinda of a known issue though.

    Happy New Year


    Grey

    Sunday, December 27, 2015 5:10 PM
  • Thanks for the suggestion. I did run the database repair tool. It reported no errors, but the restored drive was still unable to boot. That concerns me, because I've been assuming that in the event of a catastrophic disk failure on a client computer, I'd be able to do a full restore.

    For this particular machine, now that I've been able to reconnect to the server, I'm able to work with a full set of files that are the same or later than the backup set from which I was trying to restore. It's been backing up every night without any hiccups, but I still have no confidence that I'd be able to do a full restore.

    I will experiment with one of the other client computers when I have a few spare hours, and see if the problem was peculiar to this particular machine, or with specific backup sets from that machine.

    I appreciate all your suggestions, and I'm sure they will all prove useful.


    Chuck Calvin

    Friday, January 8, 2016 4:59 AM
  • How were you able to overcome windows\system32\winload.exe. missing issue?

    • Edited by LeoG71 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 3:17 AM
    Wednesday, January 17, 2018 3:15 AM